Pub given ‘platinum’ status in bizarre competition after facing down cries for name change over ‘racist connotations’

The Black Boy in Newtown

The Black Boy in Newtown

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 10/11/2023

- 17:20

Owners of a pub in Wales rejected calls to change its name following widespread backlash as support for the Black Lives Matter movement rose following the death of George Floyd

A pub has been given a “platinum” status for one of its facilities after facing down calls for a name change when activists complained about it having “racist connotations”.

The Black Boy in Newtown dates back to the 17th century and was named after chimney sweeps who emerged from local properties covered in soot.

The popular Powys pub, owned by Tim Martin’s hospitality company Wetherspoons, was included in the Loo of the Year Awards 2023.

Loo of the Year Awards inspectors made unannounced visits to thousands of toilets at sites across the United Kingdom.

WATCH NOW: Liam Halligan discusses the number of pubs closing in England and Wales

Toilets have been graded as silver, gold, platinum, platinum plus or diamond.

Unacceptable toilets have not been graded at all.

The facilities are judged by inspectors using a bizarre checklist, including decor and maintenance.

Cleanliness, accessibility, hand washing, drying equipment and overall management have also been brought into consideration.

The Loo of the Year Awards 2023 managing director, Becky Wall, said: “The toilets at The Black Boy have been designed and fitted out to a very high standard and are both clean and well maintained. The pub deserves its platinum award.”

A sign on the JD Wetherspoon pub

A sign on the JD Wetherspoon pub


However, the Broad Street pub fought against calls for a rebranding in 2021, with local punters putting pressure on Wetherspoons to maintain the name.

During the renaming debacle in 2021, one visitor told The Daily Mail: “I was always told that the name Black Boy was so called because it was after the small lads they sent up the chimneys.”

Another added: “We are being forced to delete anything that some sensitive soul finds the need to get upset about these days.”

Wetherspoons, who carried out a £1.5million makeover after buying the pub in 2014, confirmed the pub would keep its “historic name”.

A public vote on changing the name was conducted but locals decisively voted for it to remain The Black Boy for the foreseeable future.

A street view of The Black Boy

A street view of The Black Boy


A spokesman added: “To date, we haven't received any complaints regarding the name, but will keep matters under review.”

Despite seeing off critics, several Greene King pubs with the same name opted to drop the controversial names.

More than 20 pubs in England and Wales are named The Black Boy.

The Loo of the Year Award Ceremony will be held on January 18, 2024.

It was set up in 1987 to encourage the highest possible standards in all “away from home” washrooms.

A Wetherspoons worker pulls a pint

A Wetherspoons worker pulls a pint


A number of Wetherspoons pubs have been handed platinum prizes in 2023.

The Winter Gardens in Harrogate, Sir Henry Tate in Chorley and The Packet Station in Falmouth all made the cut.

Platinum awards were also given out to The Carron Works in Falkirk, The Picture Playhouse in Bexhill and The Star Inn in Honiton.

A Wetherspoon spokesman told GB News: “Staff at our pubs ensure the toilets are in excellent condition at all times and it is great that this has been recognised by the Loo of the Year inspectors.

“Clean and well-maintained toilets are an important aspect of our pubs.”

You may like